What’s New with the Dog Days of Summer Challenge

how dogs keep cool in Phoenix summer
So, we are on Day 15 of our Dog Days of Summer Challenge, and I got to say that you guys haven’t disappointed one bit. You’ve made such creative ways to keep your dogs cool in this heat. Be proud of yourselves!

From “redneck” AC units to dogs on slides to dogs kayaking, you all have certainly come up with great, thoughtful ideas on how your dog can deal with Phoenix summers.

Keepin’ cool in Phoenix heat

We all know that dogs are vulnerable to the heat and I’m sure, like me, you get upset when you see a dog being walked during the hottest part of the day or people doing other thoughtless things with their dog when it is so damned hot outside.

That’s why it was just so wonderful to see all your photos and suggestions. Even when it was freakin’ 118 out there, all of you kept a cool head and thought of the dog first. Way to go!

Summer contest update

There’s still 15 days to go for the contest. Remember you can enter seven times. So as you think of things, just post them on Facebook for everyone to see. Here are the other official rules and ways you can win up to $120. Stay cool everyone!

 

Baseball and your dog

baseball at downtown Phoenix ballpark
You know what is great? It’s great when your baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, is on a scorching hot streak? And they beat the Dodgers repeatedly. And that you can take your dog to a game in downtown Phoenix.

That’s great. Really, really great.

(Of course, how long the Diamondbacks are in downtown Phoenix remains to be seen since there are a lot of rumors that they will be headed to north Scottsdale sooner or later)

Head to the ballgame with your dog

But for right now, you can hope on the Light Rail and head down to the ballpark with your pooch.

The Diamondbacks were the first baseball team in the country to have a dog-friendly section at the ballpark. Other teams, including the Dbacks, had had bring-your-dog-to-the-game days but our team was the first to put in a special section for our four-legged friends.

Two baseball-viewing options

So here’s the rundown, baseball and dogwise:

On Sunday, you can go to  “Bark at the Park” versus the Houston Astros, with a pre-game Puppy Parade on the warning track at Chase Field.  Bring your dog and sit in the stands.

And on 17 other Sunday and Monday home games, there is “Dog Days of Summer”. Dogs and their peeps have their own dedicated seating and concessions area, PetSmart Patio, and their own indoor/outdoor dog park. There also will be onsite adoptions of dogs by leading area animal-rescue groups.

Dog Days of Summer ticket packages start at $160 and include a semi-private space with all the necessities for four people and one dog. Each table comes with access to All-You-Can-Eat hot dogs, soda, water, popcorn, peanuts, and chips. Fans must purchase entire table.

For dogs, hanging out on the patio means they aren’t confined to a seat and can roam around the suite. Another big thrill for the dog: dog-friendly ice cream with chicken, bacon, turkey or sweet potato toppings.

Be sure to head to the Chase Field dog park so Fido can burn off some of that sugar-induced energy before the trip back home.

But wait, there’s more

For those of you who love road trips with the dog, just know that the San Diego Padres are having their own “Dog Days of Summer” event Tuesday, June 19. Info is available on the Padres’ website.

Dogs and Spring Training

dog at spring training game
Want to bring your dog with you as you enjoy a day of sun, suds and spring training? Well, sad to say Cactus League ballparks aren’t as welcoming to the four-legged dogs as they are to the meat-byproduct ones.

Only one of the ten Cactus League Ballparks has a dog-day special in 2018. And that’s Peoria Sports Complex, home of the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres. Interestingly, the Padres play in Petco Park at home –and they were the first team in baseball to have bring-your-dog-to-the-game days.

Peoria Sports Complex more than makes up for the dearth of other Cactus League teams because it has not one – but four PawParty Days’’ on March 1, 6, 15 and 23!

On these days, you can sit on the lawn and watch a game with your favorite canine buddy. It’s up to you,though, to figure how much of your hot dogs you want to share with The Dog.

Take your dog to spring training

To get your dog into the game, purchase a “dog-admission ticket” at the Ticket Office Window.

All of the PawParty Days’ proceeds will go to the Arizona Humane Society.

The scoop on Peoria stadium

Of all of the stadiums, Peoria has the most promotions this season, including  honoring nurses, teachers and veterans.

That’s great because other stadiums just gladly take your money and then turn around charge you a bundle for beer and a hot dog. Do I sound bitter? Sorry. I just remember the old days when going to a spring-training game was a spur-of-the-moment decision, made mostly because you had nothing better to do that particular afternoon. It was more of a lark and didn’t involve so much logistics. Or parking. Or planning. Or money.

But enough nostaligia for the old days! If you are interested in making it a day with dog, may we suggest the ultra-friendly Salty Senorita, which is super dog friendly and close to the ballpark.

And play ball!

 

 

 

Dogs at Work

take your dog to work in central Phoenix
Today is National Take Your Dog to Work Day but how great would it be if you worked where you had canine companionship all the time?

Sandra Munoz and Jeremy Gunter have it. They both have work spaces at CO+HOOTS, central Phoenix’s first shared coworking spot. The ultra-friendly spot was recently named by Inc magazine as the No. 4-ranked shared work space in the U.S.

Could it be because of the dogs?

Odeen Dominguez, CO+HOOTS Foundation cofounder, says that in the sometimes lonely world of owning your business,  it’s good to have an-always loyal supporter, even if they have no checkbook.

“In a space where entrepreneurs are putting their all into building their businesses from scratch, having dogs around allows for a much needed mental break that we’re happy to provide,” he says.

Cool space for canines

Sandra Munoz, owner of the Latinaology Hispanic women website, always brings Vanilla with her when she comes to write and network with others. The Maltese/Cocker Spaniel/Papillion/??? dog loves CO+HOOTS’ cool vibe as well as its cool concrete floors.

As part of her multifaceted entrepreneurial world, Munoz also writes automobile reviews. And of course, Vanilla, comes with for test drives– what dogs doesn’t love going on a car ride?

take your dog to work in central phoenix
Dogs as work place dealbreakers

For Jeremy Gunter, finding a job that allowed his dog, Chloe, was high on his list of workplace criteria. No Chloe; No Jeremy. Ackmann & Dickenson, website designers, got it that the smallish German Shepard was part of a package deal. Now, the two come to work everyday.

Weather permitting, Jeremy and Chloe walk from home to work and back. The walk helps mellow Chloe out for a day at the office, where she hangs out in her special corner and has a small arsenal of toys.

For Jeremy, Chloe’s presence provides some steady companionship and eliminates the need for him to go home and check on her. Did you know that one in five workers say they go home at lunch to check on their dogs?

What about the rest of us?

So what if you don’t work in a totally cool place like Sandra or Jeremy?

Perhaps it is a good idea to remind your manager and those in HR that there are a lot of advantages of having doggies in the office. Canines can help break down cubicle walls. Chances are that even if that person denied your budget request, you still will like her dog. And maybe that person isn’t such a jerk since she has such a nice dog.

Need more ammo to change workplace policies? Here a list of companies that let you bring your dog to work . Maybe it is time to follow in their paw steps!

 

 

Swimming for dogs

dogs enjoying swimming pool in phoenix
Hanging out in the swimming pool can be the perfect anecdote for the Phoenix heat for you and your dog!

Some dogs are just naturals around water; others, well, they don’t like it and they’re afraid of it. Some of the dogs I have had the hardest time bathing are the first ones to jump in the pool. Dogs, go figure!

Swimming can provide an excellent summer cool down for dogs as well as a way to burn off some pent-up energy. Teaching your dog to swim also makes sense safetywise since every year, more than 10,000 dogs drown in the United States – mostly because they easily found their way into a pool, but couldn’t find their way out.

Just like there is a right way for humans to learn swimming, there’s also a right way to get your dog to come into the pool, with you, say behavior experts.

Start in the shallow end of swimming pool

Ideally your pool has steps. Start there with your doggie swim lessons in the pool. It’s a good way to remind them that there is an exit from this big tube of water. If you have any doubt about your dog swimming in water (i.e water is not their middle name – Portuguese water dog, for example), start out by having them wear a life vest. Look for a lifejacket with a handle that you can use to guide your dog in the water and a D-ring to attach a leash. Attach a leash, and walk slowly into the water, letting him get used to having wet feet.

Bring some training treats, toys and your positive tone of voice to reinforce your dog as he enters the water. Gradually take him into deeper water until he must start paddling to stay afloat. Make sure he is using his front and rear legs to paddle, otherwise he will become exhausted really fast. To get all the legs moving, put your arm under his belly.

 After swimming activities

Remind him of the stairs as you get out of the pool. And now, it’s time for some more water: give him a good rinse with fresh water to get rid of all the pool chemicals. And some water to drink. All that moving in the water can be deceptively exhausting. And after that, it wouldn’t hurt for one more treat. And a big, big beach towel to get dried off with.  Learn more about keeping your dog safe around swimming-pool chemicals

Worried that you are not the person to teach your dog to swim? Phoenix has at least two companies that will provide dog swimming lessons:

 

Dog Park Season

scottsdale dog park

Phoenix weather, especially at night and in the mornings, appears to be cooling off so now is a great time to introduce (or re-introduce) your dog to the neighborhood dog park.

These dog parks provide a great way for dogs to meet other dogs and people and well, frankly, for people to meet other people.

Here’s a list of metro Phoenix dog parks. If you know of any others, please let us know. We are trying to update our list!

Also dog parks allow our little friends to get some physical and mental exercise. That running around makes them less likely to destroy the house.

But — and there is always a but — there’s always a chance of your dog getting in fights or picking up strange parasites and diseases as a result of going to the park.

Our friend Abby Quillen has come up with some terrific tips on dog-park etiquette. She covers getting your dog dog-park ready, health hazards, behavior and general do’s and don’ts at the park.

Important reminder for all Phoenix peeps and dogs! Bring water — just in case. The weather hasn’t cooled off that much. And you never can be sure about the quantity and quality of water at any park

Check out Abby’s nifty, visual dog-park primer:

dog-play-decrypted-002-use

 

Stay-cations for you and your dog

Sky-the-Pomeranian-450
Is it time to sneak away with the dog to a Phoenix or Scottsdale resort and take advantage of some of their summer deals?

Does it get to 120 in the shade in Phoenix? Heck yes!

Happy Dog Phoenix has already done the homework for you; we have a handy-dandy list of pet-friendly resorts in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson and Sedona.

But beware: It pays to do some homework beforehand. Some resorts say they are dog friendly but what they really mean is “We are friendly to the extra bucks you must fork over to us to have your dog stay with us. Have a stale dog biscuit on us.’’

We randomly selected seven Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tucson resorts and checked on their sites or called their staff to figure how much it really cost to have the dog stay there.

Resorts were selected by placing a list of resorts in the path of our assistant, Miss Beagle, and having her walk over the piece of paper. Names closest to where she walked were selected. Science, that’s how we roll, at HDP.

 

Name Fees Weight restrictions for dogs Limit on number of dogs
The Boulders $100 flat fee 75 pounds
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess $25 fee per day None None
FireSky None None None
Hotel Palomar None None None
Loews Ventana Canyon $100 fee None None
Omni Montelucia $100 fee per dog 30 pounds None
Wigwam Resort $25 fee per dog per day None None but if you leave the room, you must kennel the dog

 

Some resorts say they charge deposits. But what they mean to say is that they charge non-refundable deposits, which is just the same as a fee.

But some places seem genuinely happy to have dogs there. They offer special beds, treats and lists of nearby dog-friendly places.

At Hotel Valley Ho, for example, pets stay free, with no restrictions on number or weight of dogs. Dogs’ swag bags include treats, a double-sided bowl for water and food, clean-up bags, and a ‘Pet in Room’ sign. The hotel’s grounds are great for a stroll and it is close to the Arizona Canal for a longer walk if weather permits.

Just remember to ask some questions before selecting a resort and all of you, including Fido, can have a great break from the summertime heat. See you all for cocktails!

 

 

Dogs and Swimming Pools

Dogs-in-pool-500
After an extraordinarily mild May in Phoenix, it’s getting to be that time of year when we all start enjoying the pool, dogs included!

It’s important to remember, however, that Fidos with their wonderful senses of smell can get into what we use to clean our pools, so keep those chemicals in a locked, safe place.

Pool chemicals, including chlorine tablets, muriatic acid and brominating tablets, are generally safe once they are diluted in the pool. But in their purer form, they are corrosive and if swallowed by your dog, can result in severe life-threatening ulcers in the digestive tract.

Also be careful if you are mixing chemicals in a small, confined space, that you don’t let the dog in the area; they could develop respiratory problems from inhaling the chemicals floating in the air. And wipe away any spills since some agents have a sweet odor to them and could attract your dog’s attention.

Once you are all ready for swimming, just know that dogs’ eyes, noses and ears are more sensitive than a humans’ and as such they may be more susceptible to chlorine’s effects. Rinse off and dry your dogs after they swim in the pool to reduce any risk of skin allergies caused by exposure to chlorine.

Many people believe that chlorine is the culprit behind dogs’ ear infections but actually it’s just moistness that can be harmful, according to the American Kennel Club. To prevent infections especially among floppy-eared dogs, give the ears a quick wipe down after pool time, they suggest.

Make sure your dog has plenty of drinking water so she is not tempted to keep drinking that chlorinated or salty pool water. Yes, we know, easier said than done when it comes to directing your dog to a proper water bowl. Exhibit A: The bathroom water bowl (aka toilet).

Overdoing it on the saltwater can cause your dog to have vomiting and diarrhea. The condition can become worse and cause seizures, depression, in-coordination and brain swelling.

As a precaution, check to make sure your dog is not experiencing red eyes, trouble breathing, and throat or stomach pain. It’s a good practice, in general, to have your vet’s number on speed dial. And another great resource to have just in case is the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. Available anytime, their number is (888) 426-4435.

With a swimming pool at hand, summer in Phoenix can be bearable and sometimes downright pleasant for you and your dog. Just take a couple precautions and enjoy your summer!

 

 

Fools for Pools

seth-4 600

Warmer weather means pool time for us all, even for your beloved dog.

Is this the summer you capture your dog’s love for water by experimenting with some underwater photography?

California photographer Seth Casteel really sparked a trend with his totally interesting –and sometimes eerie – photos of dogs underwater.

Here are some tips if you are interested in trying out capturing your dog as she struts her stuff in the pool. (Of course, if she hates the pool and all things water, just set this one out):

  • Swim skills: First off, make sure you can be agile in the water by brushing up on your swimming and diving skills. Nothing ruins the mood of a photo shoot like having to call 911.
  • Waterproofing: If you are using your Iphone as your camera, make sure you have a waterproof case. The pros highly recommend Lifeproof.
  • Shooting blind: Unfortunately, with underwater photography, you can’t see your screen most of the time, nor can you use the on-screen shutter button. Just wing it.
  • Lighting: Try shooting different times of day for different types of lighting. During the day, sunlight can provide reflections and/or direct light on the object or person you are photographing.
  • More lighting: Play with using a flash or strobe. Put your camera in forced-flash mode when taking close-up photos. An external strobe can be a great way to improve your underwater photos.
  • Lens: Experiment as much as you can with the factory lens; macro and wide-angle lenses are especially useful if you are looking for close-up detail.
  • Shutter speed: If your dog has a lot of pep in her step, adjust your shutter speed to be able to catch up with her. Casteel goes with a minimum of 1/250th of a second.
  • Positioning: Put yourself no more than six feet away from the dog in order to reduce blurring. Try getting low and shooting at eye level with her, instead of photographing her from above.
  • Be patient: Especially in the beginning, you are going to be taking a lot of photos that just won’t be very good. Keep trying – the pros easily take up to 20 shots with only one panning out.

If after reviewing all these tips, you think it may be just too much trouble, don’t worry. We have you covered. The man himself, Seth Casteel will be in town May 22 to do some champion photographing of dogs underwater. Here’s the info

 

 

Scottsdale Trails

oskar 400
Wanting to get a head start on your New Year’s resolution of hiking with the hound?

Try a trail that’s good for you and your buddy.

Frequently, a dog’s fitness mirrors their person’s fitness. So if you have been a sofa spud, chances are your dog’s physique reflects that. If you’re active, your dog is probably active as well.

To be on the safe side, on your first hikes, go on outings that you know you and your dog can easily tackle. Look for trails that are relatively smooth and boulder-free. Trails that are wide and that have plenty of stopping spots with shade are good as well. And try for the trails that have minimal encounters with mountain bikes and horses, until at least you know for certain how your dog will react to them.

In north Scottsdale, why not check out Brown’s Ranch or the aptly named Lost Dog Wash trail. And check out our dog-friendly Scottsdale restaurants for well-deserved breakfasts for both of you.

Just remember, keep your dogs on their leashes and bring along a lot of water and some poop bags.

Happy trails to you and Fido!